Although surgical complication rates have decreased dramatically over the past several decades, the most common patient issue after a surgical procedure is infection. While there are a multitude of causes of infection, improper wound care after the patient returns home from the hospital is a significant one.
Improper wound care can also lead to worsened scarring and a longer recovery period. It is important to remember that discharge from the hospital is simply an acknowledgement that the patient no longer needs constant monitoring – it does not mean that the risks of surgery are over.
Deciding to have weight loss surgery is a major step and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have struggled with obesity for most of your life, you have experienced the frustration of many diet and exercise failures. Now that you have decided to proceed with surgery, you are hopeful that “this time” is going to be different.
As you prepare for surgery, here are a few things to keep in mind:
You are thinking about weight loss surgery. You’re tired of dieting, losing weight and then hitting a plateau. You’re frustrated that you’ve been going to the gym and working so hard with minimal results. Your weight is going up and down then up even higher. The only predictable part of the whole process is frustration.
At this point, you may have decided that bariatric surgery is an option for you. You found a doctor and had your consultation and you’re informed that you’ll have to embark on a liquid diet before surgery. What? Yes, a liquid diet.
Heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in the United States accounting for almost a quarter of all deaths in the US in 2008. Unlike many other diseases, cardiovascular disease is well known, highly predictable and often preventable with simple and straightforward lifestyle change.
The simple fact is that obesity and excess weight contributes to heart disease in a very significant way. Not only can excess weight, on its own, cause an increased risk of heart disease, but its comorbid conditions can too. Let’s explore:
If you have been referred to our practice from your primary care physician, it is likely that you do need surgery. This may be because the condition you are experiencing can only be corrected by surgery, such as hernias or gallbladder disease, which cannot be improved by any other method. The other possibility is that your team of medical professionals has determined that medications and non-surgical treatment has not offered the relief you or they have expected – they feel that surgery may be the best option for you.
Some patients, having done their research or having spoken to friends, may have found out about an effective surgical procedure for their condition. We certainly encourage our patients to do their homework, however we caution against drawing conclusions without proper medical advice. The only way to know if surgery is truly the right option is to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons or to speak to your primary care physician.
Your first consultation represents a very important start to the weight loss surgery process. You will have been introduced to our practice and some of our staff by attending one of our seminars with Dr. Muhammad Feteiha, Dr. Joao Lopes or Dr. James Lopes. And while attending a bariatric seminar offers a degree of insight into the options, benefits and risks of each bariatric procedure we offer, it is not it does not mean that you necessarily qualify for bariatric surgery. In fact, a number of tests to evaluate your suitability for surgery will be performed in the lead up to the procedure itself. The first step in that process, is to sit down with one of our surgeons for a consultation.
Vitamin deficiencies are a possible side effect of bariatric surgery. The degree to which a patient may experience nutritional deficiencies largely depends on several factors. First, is the person himself or herself – many people have difficulty with the absorption of one vitamin or another. Some have chronic Vitamin B12 deficiencies while others will have trouble retaining Vitamin D. Over the course of time, with proper testing, we will be able to understand the root of these deficiencies and address them.
Second is the procedure performed. The malabsorptive components (where part of the small intestine is bypassed) of a gastric bypass or duodenal switch lend themselves to a greater chance for nutritional deficiencies than purely restrictive procedures such as the gastric band or gastric sleeve.
Finally, your lifestyle will play a key role. Remember, after surgery, you will likely not be able to get all of your vitamins and minerals from food alone – even those that are nutrient dense.
Reflux is most often treated with over-the-counter antacids or prescription acid-blocking medications. However these medicines do not address the root cause of the problem, which is the reflux itself. Rather, they simply mask the symptoms of reflux by neutralizing acid.
It is not the acidity of the stomach contents itself that cause reflux. Rather, it is the upward motion of the stomach contents into the esophagus. Therefore, addressing the acid itself is of minimal long-term use. Ultimately, it is best to prevent the movement of acid in the first place.
There’s no shortage of recipes or cookbooks out there and as a bariatric surgery patient looking to expand your culinary horizons, you may be tempted to try quite a few of them. Many recipes tout their unique “tastes great and healthy for you!” qualities, while others guarantee weight loss using exotic “proven” techniques. It is imperative that we dig a little deeper to understand exactly what we’re eating, how we’re eating it and how it will ultimately affect our bodies.
Acid reflux and its chronic form, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, can range from mild to severe. Further, patients do not always experience significant symptoms, even if their reflux is significant – this is known as silent reflux. Over time, the constant barrage of stomach acid hitting the sensitive lining of the esophagus causes significant damage.
When this damage continues, there is the possibility of changes in the esophageal lining at a cellular level. This is called Barrett’s Esophagus and represents a significant phase in the progression of GERD toward cancer. The cellular changes that are seen when a patient develops Barrett’s Esophagus can present an increased risk of esophageal cancer. For that reason, it is very important that patients are aware of their acid reflux and take the steps necessary to mitigate it.